Assemblies

Assemblies at George School are different. They will probably challenge your opinions and worldviews, inspire you, and give you and your friends a lot to talk about. Here are some highlights of assemblies from the 2015-2016 year:

Friday, April 8, 2016
Stephen Moyer ’82—One Man’s Journey from Canada to Key West

assembly-2015-2016-stephen-moyerStephen Moyer, Class of 1982 and George School teacher and coach, shared the story of his solo run from Canada to Key West to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis this fall. Beginning in July 2015 and finishing in November 2015, Stephen relied on the kindness of friends and strangers alike to help him complete his run.

Friday, April 1, 2016
Ger Duany—From Refugee to Global Ambassador

assembly-2015-2016-ger-duanyGer shared the story of his life with the community. From being recruited as a child soldier in Sudan and fleeing to Kenya to arriving in the United States at the age of sixteen, Ger has been an actor, model, and speaker, sharing his story with the world.

 

Friday, March 25, 2016
Jasmine Bailey ’01 Poet

assembly-2015-2016-jasmine-baileyJasmine Bailey ’01 kept the audience laughing with her quick wit as she shared her poetry. She shared several poems from her debut book, Alexandria, as well as a new poem set in the Philadelphia Airport that reflects on racial profiling and current events in the world.

Friday, February 26, 2016
Instrumental Music

assembly-2015-2016-instrumental-studentsThe instrumental music program—including the wind and string ensembles, lab band, and full orchestra—shared their recent work with the community. Among the pieces performed was the world premiere of a score written specifically for George School by Lars Clutterham, composer and former George School music teacher.

Friday, February 19, 2016
Les Mis Preview

assembly-2015-2016-les-misThe cast of more than forty students shared a preview of the Tony award-winning musical Les Misérables with the community. The beautiful live music, complicated set, and talented student performers came together beautifully and impressed the audience.

Friday, February 12, 2016
Burning Bridget Cleary

assembly-2015-2016-burning-bridget-clearyThe annual assembly in memory of Chuck O’Neill ’94 brought Irish band Burning Bridget Cleary to campus to share their upbeat, Celtic music. The upbeat, lively tunes were a great way to kick off the annual Live Music Weekend celebrations.

 

Monday, February 8, 2016
Vietnam Service Trip

assembly-2015-2016-vietnamVietnam service trip participants shared stories of their service trip to Vietnam during summer 2015. Highlights of the trip included service work in remote villages, a visit to Ha Long Bay, and visiting Ho Chi Minh and the Temple of Literature.

 

Friday, February 5, 2016
Liz Arnold and Craig Stevens, “Choose Your Future”

assembly-2015-2016-liz-arnoldLiz Arnold, who calls herself a “Fractivist” is a Philadelphia electrician by day, who educates about hydraulic fracturing. She was joined by Craig Stevens, a sixth generation landowner from Northeast PA whose property and property values have been destroyed by fracking. The two visited George School to illuminate for students the many potential perils associated with fracking.

Friday, January 22, 2016
Sam Koplinka Loehr, YOUth and the Fight for Environmental Justice

assembly-2015-2016-sam-koplinka-loehrSam is a community organizer for the Clean Air Council. He shared his own battle to save tribal lands in NY State. He also talked about a youth group in Pennsylvania that is working to stop a pipeline from going through their backyards and a Washington state group that is suing the government for not protecting the air and water for their generation. He encouraged students to find their passion and work for it.

Friday, January 15, 2016
The North Star

assembly-2015-2016-the-north-starThomas Phillips visited George School to talk about his new movie, The North Star. The film tells the story of Benjamin “Big Ben” Jones and Moses Hopkins, two slaves who escaped from a Virginia plantation and made their way to freedom in Buckingham, Pennsylvania. Thomas talked about the importance of following your dreams and never giving up, even when they seem impossible.

Friday, January 8, 2016
Ran’D Shine

assembly-2015-2016-ran'd-shineRan’D Shine delighted the audience with a series of magic tricks and sleights of hand. With the assistance of a few student volunteers he kept the audience laughing as he made things disappear, reappear, and disappear again.

 

Friday, December 18, 2015
Tribe 1

assembly-2015-2016-tribe-1Tribe 1, a group of musicians, poets, and singers from Willingboro, New Jersey (including Jonathan Snipes ’78) sang a number of songs to nurture the soul and remind us of our interconnection. Through songs of transformation, poetry, and movement, the group tries to “rouse the heart, bridge disconnection, and awaken the audience to the essential joy, unity and compassion of human experience.”

Monday, December 14, 2015
International Student Assembly

assembly-2015-2016-international-student-assemblyThe International Student Assembly highlighted the many talents of our international students. From dance, to instrumental music, to beatboxing the assembly offers students a chance to showcase their talents.

 

Friday, December 11, 2015
Holiday Dance Assembly

assembly-2015-2016-holiday-danceThe Holiday Dance Assembly delighted the community with a series of dances around various themes. With fun, upbeat music and choreography the talented students brought the holidays to life.

 

Monday, December 7, 2015
Career Workshops

assembly-2015-2016-career-dayThe annual Career Workshops organized by the Parents Association brought five alumni back to campus to share their time and talents with students. Sarah Baicker ’02, Avery Blank ’04, Andrew Chen ’91, Larry Heinemann ’80, and Gordon Toggweiler ’04 spent the afternoon answering questions, sharing stories, and giving advice to the student body.

Friday, December 4, 2015
Student Council

2015-12-04-student-council-assemblyThe annual student council assembly kept the audience in stitches this year. Specials guests included Gordon Ramsey, who shared updates about new printers for the dorms; presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders, who discussed changes to the laundry policy on campus; and Nemo, who talked about the addition of smoothies to the dining hall menu later this year. Other notable changes included the creation of the Menstrual Product Equality Taskforce which is working to bring free menstrual products to bathrooms on campus.

Friday, October 30, 2015
Waging Peace: Global Adventures of a Lifelong Activist

assembly-2015-DavidHartshoughIt is no less than remarkable to be in the same room as David Hartshough, or as Religions Department head Tom Hoopes ’83 puts it, it is like being in the “presence of a rock star”. The memories he shared of his experience with nonviolent protests for peace showed us his role as major peace activist, one of the most influential of our time. Meeting leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and taking the lead in protests like the ones against nuclear testing, he has been part of many major nonviolent movements since the 1950s.

Monday, October 26, 2015 
Students Associated for Greater Empathy (SAGE)

assembly-2015-sageSAGE, which stands for Students Associated for a Greater Empathy, showed a homemade video and prepared skits in their annual assembly. Good natured jokes coupled with honest advice covered topics from unhealthy eating and stress to sexual harassment and peer pressure. SAGE gave the community a backbone of support for various issues found in our community.

Friday, October 23, 2015
Michael Gagne, Activism and the Spirit 

assembly-2015-MichaelGagneMichael Gagne, the regional programs manager for Environmental Leadership Program, spoke about how love and power come together. One of the major ideas he presented in this shifting of perspective was to see the world not as a pyramid with someone on top and someone at the bottom, but as a circle, with each individual relying on its neighbors for stability. We, as a people, need to shift how we see our own shared social power. Together, we have the power to bring about the change we wish to see in the world.

Friday, October 16, 2015
Costa Rica and Arizona Service Learning Trips

assembly-2015-arizonaThe Costa Rica service learning trip shared their experience with building and developing in rural northern and central Costa Rica last year. They spent their time building trails and painting buildings, and also hiking the beautiful trails of the native rainforests. The second half of assembly was about the Arizona service-learning trip. The students who traveled to Arizona worked with children at an elementary school. Apart from working as teachers assistants, they experienced the exceptional power of the Colorado River during a hike in the Grand Canyon.

Monday, October 12, 2015 
Do the Math and GS environmental activism

assembly-2015-do-the-mathThe assembly began with a segment of Do the Math, a film that highlights the staggering numbers in the fight against fossil fuels. Afterwards, members of the community presented about the recent efforts made at George School to help ensure a sustainable future. These included things like our participation in climate marches and divestment.

Friday, October 9, 2015 
Open Doors

assembly-2015-open-doorsOpen Doors kicked off their weekend with a moving assembly filled with the stories of students and faculty, as well as skits, to bring the issues of the queer community to light. The weekend that followed included rainbow pancake making Saturday morning, a dance in the afternoon, and a van to Outfest in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Monday, October 5, 2015 
Nicaragua and France Service Learning Trips

assembly-2015-franceThe French service learning trip shared stories from their exchange program and spoke about their experience serving underprivileged French children. Students spent two weeks working as teachers’ aids in elementary classrooms helping with academics, and then entertaining children during recess. During the second half of the assembly the student participants in the Nicaragua service learning trip read from their personal journals about their service experience. Students spent their time at schools painting and helping teachers as aids in the classroom.

Friday, October 2, 2015 
Freedom from Chemical Dependency

assembly-2015-FCDStephanie from the Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) talked about her substance abuse, and the importance for teenagers to make healthy decisions. She also led the discussion with juniors over the weekend for their FCD workshops. Freshmen and new sophomores will have their FCD weekend later in November.

Monday, September 28, 2015
Setareh Ekhteraei ’16, “Realities: Life in Iran”

2015-2016-assembly-EkhteraeiSenior student and resident of Iran Setareh Ekhteraei gave a wonderfully enlightening presentation about life in Iran. Her talk covered a broad array of topics—tradition, misconceptions, clothing, food, sports, technology, and education among many others. Setareh, in addition to being a gifted student, is working on founding an organization aimed at helping young Iranian minorities receive better, more fulfilling educations.

Friday, September 25, 2015
Jon Slaght ’94, Owls of the Russian Far East

assembly-2015-JonSlaghtJon Slaght, Class of ’94, presented his work with Fish Owls in the Russian Far East. Using the Russian he learned at George School, he has been able to lead the scientific research efforts for this endangered bird. His efforts have led to habitat preservations and environmental understanding.

Friday, September 11, 2015 
George School Music Teachers

2015-2016-assembly-musicWhat assembly could welcome students back better than the lovely tunes of the George School music teachers? Performances included chemistry teacher Alyssa Schultheis’ lovely rendition of Hanging Tree on her turquoise violin, and the iconic voice of Sue Munzer singing Broadway Baby. From jazz to folk, all the performers are available to teach their craft to the willing students of George School.

2014-2015 Assembly Highlights